Habersham family papers
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Habersham family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Habersham family.
Title: Habersham family papers
Dates: 1712-1842
Extent: 0.2 cubic feet (4 folders)
Identification: MS 1787

Biographical/Historical Note

James Habersham (1712-1775) was born in Yorkshire, England in January, 1712. He came to Savannah, Georgia, in 1738 and founded the Bethesda Orphan Home with George Whitefield and from 1741 to 1744, Habersham ran the orphanage. In 1744, he left this position to start the firm Harris & Habersham, one of the earliest such businesses in Savannah. He married Mary Bolton on December 26, 1740, and had ten children, but only three sons survived their father: James Jr. (d. 1799), Joseph (1751-1815), and John. Habersham (1754-1799). He took an active part in the political affairs of Georgia and was elected president of the upper house of the General Assembly in 1767. In the absence of Governor Sir James Wright in 1771-1773, Habersham served as Acting Governor. He was a prosperous land owner and a strong advocate for allowing slavery in Georgia. When, in 1749, slavery became legal in the state, Habersham established many rice plantations. Forever loyal to England, he died in New Brunswick, New Jersey, August 28, 1775, shortly before the outbreak of the American Revolution.

John Habersham (1754-1799), a son of James Habersham (1712-1775), served with distinction in the American Revolution with the 1st Georgia Regiment, Continental Line, and rose to the rank of Major. He was president of the Georgia Executive Council in 1784, a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1785-1786, Chairman of the Georgia Commissioners for the Shoulder-Bone Treaty with the Creek Indians in 1786, one of the commissioners from Georgia for settling the boundary between South Carolina at Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1787, and Collector of the Port of Savannah, 1791-1799.

Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), a son of James Habersham (1712-1775), graduated from Princeton and became a merchant in Savannah, first with his brother James, and later with his cousin, Joseph Clay. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, he was a member of the Council of Safety, and took part in some of the actions of the "Liberty Boys." It was he who, with a selected party, arrested Governor Sir James Wright in 1776. He was commissioned by the Council of Safety as a Major of a battalion with the 1st Georgia Regiment, Continental Line in 1776 and rose to the rank of Colonel. He resigned his commission in 1778. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1785-1786, Mayor of Savannah, 1792, and Post Master General of the United States, appointed by President George Washington in 1795.

Robert Habersham (1783-1870), a son of Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), was a merchant in Savannah. His son, Robert Habersham, Jr. (1812-1832) graduated from Harvard in 1831 and died in Savannah, August 31, 1832, after going swimming and catching a cold.


Scope and Content Note

The collection consists primarily of manuscript copies of portions of James Habersham's letter books during 1771-1772 when he served as Acting Governor of Georgia. Also included is a manuscript copy of James Habersham's diary dated 1750-1751 and manuscript copies of indentures, letters, and ledgers of John Habersham, Joseph Habersham, Robert Habersham Jr., and Roland Hill compiled in a single letter book.

The two letter books of James Habersham's letters contain duplicates. Letter book 2 (August 1771-October 1772) contains the most letters. Habersham's letters are addressed to: Earl of Hillsborough, George Galphin, Capt. James Edward Powell, Lord Charles Greville Montagu, Edward Barnard, William Tryon, John Daniel Hammerer, Joseph Maddock, John Pownall, James Jackson, Francis Williams, John Stuart, Peter Chester, Commissioners of Customs, William Knox, Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, John Moultrie, and Anthony Stokes. Three letters at the end of letter book 2 were written by John Habersham on behalf of his father.

Many of James Habersham's letters in this collection were transcribed and published in the Colonial Records of the State of Georgia and Collections of the Georgia Historical Society: The Letters of Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775. See the collection inventory for publication information and page numbers. Twenty-seven of the forty-nine letters are not published.

James Habersham's diary contains entries regarding the arrival of French and German citizens in Georgia, the Rev. John Martin Bolzius, settlement at Ebenezer, Georgia, Trustees appointments, deaths and burials, letter to Capt. David Cutler Braddock, detailed information on cocoons and silk manufacturing, arrival of ships in port, elections, merchants, and mulberry trees.

The creator and date of creation of the manuscript copies is unknown. They were likely written during the late 18th and 19th centuries.


Index Terms

Barnard, Edward.
Boltzius, Johann Martin, 1703-1765.
Braddock, David Cutler, 1717 or 1718-1769.
Cherokee Indians--Georgia--History--18th century.
Cherokee Indians--Government relations.
Chester, Peter, approximately 1717-1799.
Clay, Joseph, 1741-1804.
Creek Indians--Georgia--History--18th century.
Creek Indians--Government relations.
Diaries.
Ebenezer (Effingham County, Ga.)--History.
Galphin, George, -1780.
Georgia--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Georgia--Politics and government.
Habersham family.
Habersham, James, 1715-1775.
Habersham, James, 1745-1799.
Habersham, Joseph, 1751-1815.
Habersham, Robert, 1783-1870.
Habersham, Robert, 1812-1832.
Hammerer, John Daniel.
Indentures.
Jackson, James, 1757-1806.
Knox, William, 1732-1810.
Ledgers (account books)
Letter books.
Letters (correspondence)
Maddock, Joseph.
Montagu, Charles-Greville, Lord, 1741-1784.
Moultrie, John, 1729-1798.
Powell, James Edward.
Pownall, John, 1720-1795.
Savage, Benjamin.
Savannah (Ga.)--History.
Stuart, John, 1718-1779.
Tryon, William, 1729-1788.
Williams, Francis.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was found by donor among a box of family materials.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Habersham family papers, MS 1787, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Augustus Oemler, Jr, 2007.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Physical Access Restrictions

For preservation purposes, documents in this collection may not be photocopied. When possible, please use transcripts of the originals cited in the collection inventory.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and as the owner of copyright in items created by the donor. Although copyright was transferred by the donor, copyright in some items in the collection may still be held by their respective creator(s). For further information contact the Division of Library and Archives.


Publication Note

Published transcripts of letters from James Habersham to the Earl of Hillsborough, Edward Barnard, William Knox, and John Pownall are available in the Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, vols. XXXVII-XXXVVIII. Transcripts are also available in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society: The Letters of Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (v. 6, 1904). See collection inventory for volumes and page numbers of published transcripts.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Fldr

1Habersham family letter book (manuscript copy), 1712-1842
Includes Joseph Habersham indenture, deed, and letters, Robert Habersham Jr. letter, Robert Habersham and Son ledger pages, John Habersham letter, Rowland Hill letters, and transcripts of articles published in the Spectator in 1712.
 
James Habersham

Fldr

2Diary (manuscript copy), 1750 October -1751 June
Letter books (manuscript copies)

Fldr

3Book 1, 1771 August -1772 April

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 1), 1771 August 3, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 548.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 2), 1771 September 26, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 554.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 3), 1771 September 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 562.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 4), 1771 October 23, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 565.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 5), 31 October 1771, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 569.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 6), 1771 November 27, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 587.

George Galphin, 1771 December 30

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 7), 1771 December 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 591

George Galphin, 1772 January 11

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 8), 1772 January 16, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 599

Capt. James Edward Powell, 1772 February 15

Lord Charles Montagu, 1772 March 5

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 9), 1772 March 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 603

George Galphin, 1772 April 20

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 10), 1772 April 24, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 609; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 12.

Fldr

4Book 2, 1771 August -1772 October

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 1, partial letter), 1771 August 3, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 548.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 2, partial letter), 1771 September 26, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 554.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 3), 1771 September 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 562.

George Galphin, 1771 October 8

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 4), 1771 October 23, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 565.

Edward Barnard, 1771 October 30

George Galphin, 1771 October 30

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 5), 1771 October 31, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 569.

William Tryon, 1771 November 6

Edward Barnard, 1771 November 14

John Daniel Hammerer, 1771 November 14

George Galphin, 1771 November 23

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 6), 1771 November 27, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 587.

Edward Barnard, 1771 December 5

Joseph Maddock, 1771 December 6

George Galphin, 1771 December 12

George Galphin, 1771 December 30

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 7), 1771 December 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 591.

George Galphin, 1772 January 11

John Pownall, 1772 January 15

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 8), 1772 January 16, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 599.

James Jackson, 1772 February 6

Francis Williams, 1772 February 6

John Stuart, 1772 February 6

Capt. James Edward Powell, 1772 February 15

Peter Chester, 1772 February 15

Charles Greville Montagu, 1772 March 5

Charles Greville Montagu, 1772 March 9

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 9), 1772 March 30, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 603.

Commissioners of Customs, 1772 April 18

George Galphin, 1772 April 20

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 10), 1772 April 24, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 609; Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 171; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 12.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 11), 1772 April 30, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 622; Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 174; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folders 12 and 15.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 12), 1772 June 15, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 648; Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 189; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 15.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 13), 1772 June 15, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 651; Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 187; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 15.

William Knox, 1772 June 15, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 654; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 15.

John Pownall, 1772 June 15, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVII, p. 655.

Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 1772 June 16, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXVIII, pt. 2, p. 863.

James Jackson, 1772 August 8, Transcripts available in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 198; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 16.

Edward Barnard, 1772 August 12, Transcript available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVIII, p. 11.

George Galphin, 1772 August 12, Transcripts available in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 199; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 16.

Earl of Hillsborough, (No. 14), 1772 August 12, Transcripts available in Colonial Records..., v. XXXVIII, p. 4; Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 200; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 16.

Charles Greville Montagu, 1772 September 10

John Moultrie, 1772 September 11, Transcripts available in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 207; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 16.

George Galphin, 1 October 1772

Anthony Stokes (partial letter), 1772 October 7

George Galphin (partial letter), 1772 October 16, Transcripts available in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, v. 6, p. 213; and James Habersham papers, MS 337, folder 16.
Written by John Habersham on behalf of this father.

George Galphin (partial letter), date missing
Written by John Habersham on behalf of this father.

George Galphin (partial letter), 1772 October 19
Written by John Habersham on behalf of this father.